The College, at this writing, is in the midst of a renovation and expansion program for the fraternity houses on Fraternity Circle. These improvements are bringing older buildings up to current code and expanding structures to provide more beds and better accommodations for social activities. Four existing fraternity houses will be razed and replaced with new structures.
Some of the improvements for Fraternity Circle focus on enhancing the site. The campus plan drawings show new walkway connections at the core of Fraternity Circle. The idea is to relocate unsightly parking to several efficiently designed, landscaped lots nearby and to draw students together by creating a paved walkway to connect the area to other campus precincts under safer conditions than current arrangements, which require walking part of the way through the area in the street. Enhanced walkways may serve to make passage on foot a more pleasant experience, and, perhaps, to reduce on-campus dependence on cars. A more important aspect of the site improvement proposal is to create a shared area for the fraternity houses that provides a social focus for mixing among the residents. Provision of places to gather and to stage social events is recommended. Social venues might be paved areas with some perimeter seating convenient to the through walkway and, perhaps, a raised platform with electrical service and lighting to accommodate use for parties or bands, or for barbeques and picnics, etc. Provision of courts for small group recreation is also recommended, e.g., basketball court, volleyball pit.
Site development studies and plans have been advanced through engineering studies and include walkway connections to the proposed Lake Mayes and the Kirby Fieldhouse, thereby encouraging recreational use of the fieldhouse by making access more convenient. Part of this development will be the arrangement of the site to provide a tailgating area close to the football stadium. Creation of a dedicated tailgating site will relocate this activity from the sides of College Road, thus reducing traffic congestion and improving safety on game days.